|Type||Regional sports network|
|Broadcast area||Eastern and Central Missouri|
Western and Southern Illinois
Nationwide (via satellite)
|Headquarters||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)|
|Owner||Diamond Sports Group (70%)|
St. Louis Cardinals (30%)
|Parent||Sinclair Broadcast Group & Entertainment Studios Networks|
|Sister channels||Bally Sports Indiana|
Bally Sports Kansas City
|Former names||Prime Sports Midwest (1989–1996)|
Fox Sports Midwest (1996–2000; 2008–2021)
Fox Sports Net Midwest (2000–2004)
FSN Midwest (2004–2008)
(some events may air on overflow feed Bally Sports Midwest Plus due to event conflicts)
Bally Sports Midwest is an American regional sports network owned by Diamond Sports Group, a joint venture between Sinclair Broadcast Group and Entertainment Studios, and operates as an affiliate of Bally Sports. The channel broadcasts regional event coverage of sports teams throughout the Midwestern United States, most prominently, professional sports teams based in St. Louis, Missouri.
Bally Sports Midwest is available on cable providers throughout eastern and central Missouri, Western and Southern Illinois, Nebraska, and Iowa; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV.
- 1 History
- 2 Programming
- 3 Other services
- 4 Notable on-air staff
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The channel originally launched by TCI and Bill Daniels in November 1989 as Prime Sports Network Midwest (also referred to as Prime Sports Midwest), serving as an affiliate of the Prime Network. The network was originally based in Indianapolis and held rights to 25 home games of the Indiana Pacers. Originally seen mainly within Indiana, the channel began expanding its cable provider coverage westward in 1994. Following Liberty Media's sale of the Prime Network to News Corporation, the channel became a member of the newly formed Fox Sports Net (then a joint venture between Liberty Media and News Corporation) and rebranded as Fox Sports Midwest on November 1, 1996. The channel was then rebranded as Fox Sports Net Midwest in 1999, as part of a collective brand modification of the FSN networks under the "Fox Sports Net" banner; subsequently in 2004, the channel shortened its name to FSN Midwest, through the networks' de-emphasis of the brand.
In the spring of 2006, Fox Sports Midwest obtained the exclusive regional cable television rights to broadcast NBA games involving the Indiana Pacers. This resulted in the channel creating a spin-off regional sports network channel, Fox Sports Indiana, for the primary purpose of airing games from the Pacers and the WNBA's Indiana Fever; Fox Sports Indiana launched on November 1, 2006, at the start of the team's regular season.
In the fall of 2007, Fox Sports Midwest signed an exclusive long-term agreement to broadcast games from the Kansas City Royals (this followed the team's decision to dissolve the Royals Sports Television Network, a regional television syndication service for the team's game broadcasts). On January 24, 2008, the network formally announced that it would spin-off its subfeed for the Kansas City market into a separate channel, Fox Sports Kansas City, to avoid scheduling conflicts with Fox Sports Midwest's St. Louis Cardinals game coverage. The main St. Louis-based feed reverted to the Fox Sports Midwest moniker that same year.
On July 15, 2010, Fox Sports Midwest signed a new television contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, giving the channel exclusive regional broadcast rights to the team's games beginning with the 2011 season, ending the team's local broadcasts in the St. Louis market on NBC affiliate KSDK (channel 5).
On July 30, 2015, Fox Sports Midwest and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a long-term television rights agreement. The new agreement began in 2018 and will run 15 seasons through the 2032 season. The deal will guarantee the St. Louis Cardinals more than $1 billion, including a 30% equity stake in the network.
On December 14, 2017, as part of a merger between both companies, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to acquire all 22 regional Fox Sports networks from 21st Century Fox, including Fox Sports Midwest. However, on June 27, 2018, the Justice Department ordered their divestment under antitrust grounds, citing Disney's ownership of ESPN. On May 3, 2019, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Entertainment Studios (through their joint venture, Diamond Holdings) bought Fox Sports Networks from The Walt Disney Company for $10.6 billion. The deal closed on August 22, 2019. On November 17, 2020, Sinclair announced an agreement with casino operator Bally's Corporation to serve as a new naming rights partner for the FSN channels. Sinclair announced the new Bally Sports branding for the channels on January 27, 2021. On March 31, 2021, coinciding with the 2021 Major League Baseball season, Fox Sports Midwest was rebranded as Bally Sports Midwest, resulting in 18 other Regional Sports Networks renamed Bally Sports in their respective regions.
Bally Sports Midwest holds the exclusive regional cable television rights to Major League Baseball games from the St. Louis Cardinals and NHL games from the St. Louis Blues. As the St. Louis region is claimed by the NBA's Indiana Pacers, select games from Bally Sports Indiana are carried, mainly on Bally Sports Midwest Plus, or on the main channel if live Blues coverage is not airing. The channel also broadcasts college athletics, including men's basketball games from the Missouri Valley Conference, St. Louis Billikens and SIUE Cougars, as well as men's and women's basketball games from the Kansas State Wildcats (which are also broadcast on Bally Sports Kansas City).
Bally Sports Midwest maintains a total of 6 feeds (not including 5 additional feeds for Bally Sports Indiana and Bally Sports Kansas City). In addition to Cardinals and Blues games which are available in all regions except Nebraska, select games produced by neighboring Bally Sports networks are also carried in some areas. The Kansas City Royals (produced by Bally Sports Kansas City) are offered in most regions outside of the Cardinals exclusive market area. Since the entire coverage area lacks an NBA team, games from two of the following teams are offered in each region: Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Oklahoma City Thunder. 
|St. Louis Cardinals||Kansas City Royals
(Bally Sports Kansas City)
(Bally Sports Indiana)
(Bally Sports South)
(Bally Sports North)
|Oklahoma City Thunder
(Bally Sports Oklahoma)
|St. Louis Blues|
Until the creation of the SEC Network in 2014, Fox Sports Midwest also screened a substantial amount of Missouri Tigers programming, including select football games, basketball, and occasional Olympic sports telecasts. It aired weekly Mizzou magazine shows, as well as football and men's basketball coaches' shows. It also filled a similar role for the Nebraska Cornhuskers until they joined the Big Ten Conference (which too has its own TV channel) in 2012, and like for Mizzou it aired university-produced ancillary programming for the Huskers.
Bally Sports Midwest Plus
Bally Sports Midwest Plus is an overflow feed of Bally Sports Midwest that was launched in October 2011. Bally Sports Kansas City and Bally Sports Indiana also operate their own Bally Sports Plus overflow feeds to resolve scheduling conflicts with Bally Sports Midwest-televised events that are simulcast on the two channels.
St. Louis Cardinals outside of Bally Sports Midwest broadcast area
The St. Louis Cardinals have one of the largest geographic territories for an MLB team, with includes all or part of 10 states and partially overlaps the territories of 9 other teams. As a result Bally Sports Midwest provides Cardinals games to neighboring Bally Sports networks (in addition to Bally Sports Indiana and Kansas City) in areas where Bally Sports Midwest is not carried. Most games appear on Bally Sports South or Bally Sports Southeast in parts of western Kentucky, western Tennessee, and northern Mississippi, with the remaining games available on an alternate channel. In Arkansas and Oklahoma games are broadcast on Bally Sports Southwest Plus/Bally Sports Oklahoma Plus.
Notable on-air staff
St. Louis Blues
- John Kelly – play-by-play announcer
- Darren Pang – "Inside-the-Glass" reporter
- Jim "The Cat" Hayes - Blues Live studio host
- Scott Warmann - Blues Live studio host
- Bernie Federko – Blues Live studio analyst
- Erica Weston - Blues live studio host and reporter
St. Louis Cardinals
- Dan McLaughlin – play-by-play announcer
- Rick Horton – color analyst
- Al Hrabosky – color analyst
- Tim McCarver – color analyst
- Jim Edmonds - color analyst
- Brad Thompson - studio analyst
- Rick Ankiel - studio analyst
- Jim "The Cat" Hayes - field reporter
- Scott Warmann - studio host
- Erica Weston - field reporter and fill in studio host
- Eric Piatkowski – Nebraska Cornhuskers men's basketball color analyst
- Jon Sundvold – Missouri Tigers men's basketball color analyst
- Scott Highmark - Saint Louis Billikens men's basketball color analyst
- Joe Pott - SIU Edwardsville Cougars men's basketball color analyst
- Quinn Buckner – Indiana Pacers analyst (now with Bally Sports Indiana)
- Clark Kellogg – Indiana Pacers analyst (now with Bally Sports Indiana)
- Ryan Lefebvre – Royals play-by-play (now with Bally Sports Kansas City)
- Frank White – Royals analyst (now with Bally Sports Kansas City)
- Pat Parris - Blues Live Host, Cardinals Live Host, Saint Louis Billikens and SIUE Cougars men's basketball play-by-play (now with KGUN-TV)
- "St. Louis Cardinals Score a $1 Billion TV Deal", Forbes, Jul 30, 2015. (en)
- Template error: argument title is required.
- R. Thomas Umstead (July 8, 1996). Liberty Sports regionals will become Fox Sports net. The Walt Disney Company.
- "FOX SPORTS NET DEBUTS ON NOV. 1", Columbian Publishing Company, September 13, 1996.
- (January 24, 2008). FSN Announces Launch of FSN Kansas City. Press release.[dead link]
- FS Midwest To Air All St. Louis Cardinals Games Locally In 2011. Reed Business Information (July 15, 2010).
- St. Louis Cardinals, FOX Sports Midwest announce long-term rights agreement.
- St. Louis Cardinals Score a $1 Billion TV Deal.
- Littleton, Cynthia. Sinclair Clinches Disney-Regional Sports Networks Deal, Byron Allen Joins as Partner (en).
- Sinclair completes acquisition of regional sports networks from Disney. Bloomberg (22 August 2019).
- Bally Sports Midwest FAQ. FOX Sports Midwest (17 March 2021).
- FOX Sports Midwest TV listings (22 March 2019).
- Fox Sports Midwest Plus announced. Fox Sports Midwest. News Corp. Digital Media (October 6, 2011).
- How to watch Cardinals baseball on FOX Sports Midwest (6 March 2020).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Bally Sports Midwest|
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